May 17, 2011
The Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls have risen.
The backdrop for my formative years was Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. As a 12-year-old, I would leave Chicago Stadium unable to hear my father, having just watched Jordan split defenses and dish to Scottie for a dunk that shook the building.
I celebrated with friends and family almost every year as the Bulls climbed the tower to the championship.
Many lessons can be learned from these years. The most of which seemed to come from the teachings of Phil Jackson. Jackson called upon the Bulls to find their heart, to become warriors, to embrace their pack on the court. The Bulls used to practice without the ball. He inspired BJ Armstrong to imagine hitting a key three-pointer late in the game, and then after imagining it, he would do the same in a game.
Over the years, I have thought a lot about the power of the Bulls: the team work, the courage, the love of the game, their ability to believe in each other.
So when the Bulls entered in the United Center on Sunday with a rousing romp of the favored Miami Heat, the spirit and joy for the symbiosis of a basketball unit was infectious. They played with all the heart and courage of the Jordan teams (if not more), and were no doubt supported by a fan base that fed their heart and desire to win. Even though it was just Game One, it was an insanely beautiful thing to watch.
As Jackson exits the game, we can see the spirit he instilled on the game, in this new team and with a fan base that certainly knows how to support warriors. As the bench rises to support the starters, as each player finds the open space on the court, the new Bulls proved so wonderfully that the organism of a basketball team is much stronger than an isloated star. Now to sustain that. The Miami Heat on some level know this lesson, the question is how firmly is it embedded in their psyches.
We'll see tonight.